How “young” do you need to be to start your own company?

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Popular belief has it that it is mostly very young people who start their own companies, usually kids right out of college, with bright idea’s and low risk. That’s the US model, what’s ours?

A brief analysis of the participation in Startup Insiders event confirms that it is pretty much the same here. Its mostly college graduates or those with a couple of years of experience that are attending these events (and by extension, more interested in starting up their own business). Common sense says, the older you get, the less risk you might want to be exposed to.. right?

WRONG!

Finally, we have data (at least from the states) that the most active age group starting up their own businesses are between the ages of 55 to 64! Yes, read that again… fifty five to sixty four! ‘young’ people (aged 22-34) were least likely to start their own company! The data was gathered by the Kauffman Foundation and can be found here.

So my message to all you ‘old timers’ who feel like they’ve been left out of the race is… it’s time to make your own race! Open up a business and be your own boss! Afterall… the ‘americans’ are doing it :)

P.S.
Observations around my own person reveal that quite a few businesses (and i’m including non-IT as well) are actually setup by people in their late 30s or early 50s. These include shops, boutiques, beauty parlors and even gymnasiums.

P.P.S.
Hope you realize, start ups are not just IT, they do tend to exist in other domains too.

Source: GigaOM

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15 Comments

  • The age group of 55-60 might be most active due to high rate of lay-offs and retirements within that demographics. Plus, most of them might be divorced, with no children to look after and with a lot of savings left with them.

    As a Pakistani, I believe a good age would be right after Intermediate/A-Levels, around 17-19. But social prejudices discourage young people from venturing out and trying something new. The second age group would be between 28-35 with a Masters in Business Administration degree, and fair bit of market/industry idea.

    A company might not necessarily be the goal, a small business could be the first milestone, and from there on by institutionalizing and formalizing business methodologies, a company can be formed.

    My 2 Cents.

  • To go for a start-up business in REAL young age one must have some pile of money to feed himself and his business. People here in Pakistan in the age of 22~34 are very passionate to go for it but I think due to unsmooth surface and availability of proper facilities they hesitate to do that and stick with their cubical jobs. Later when they found they got some money to spent on advertising of business and feed themselves they say bye bye to employer.

    Old guys have money to do it. Where as young guys have ideas.

    As far as IT start up is concerned in Pakistan, I don’t know any statistical figure to convince me about 17-19 years old entrepreneurs. Because I think the age is little bit higher, around 22 because IT/CS under graduates tend towards it.

    Love hard – die young :)

  • Hmm, I don’t remember the website..but I came across a survey conducted in UK and they concluded most startups were taken by ppl of age 25-35.

  • In the medium in which you are writing, start up usually means a Tech startup or IT startup, and in those, most of the founders are in their 20s.

    And yes, you are 100% right about the shop-startups. I’ve seen and interacted with business men of that age group, and one can feel the business sense even by just hearing the guy. Usually experience is more important for an offline startup than innovation.

  • n shah: experience is usually more important in business, not just online vs offline. you can have a very good idea with a good execution plan, but sustaining it requires a fair amount of experience.

  • @mansoor: yes experience is important, but I personally think that at a younger age it is much easier to take the risk and built a great business.

    I think the best age to do a startup is “right now” .. whatever age you are, if you have a great idea then please go with your passion and make it reality. Nothing is hard once you start the journey.

  • i as young as 23 currently i m co- running a design house and all set and ready to start an online e-market :)

  • naveed: good for you! it’s encouraging to see you guys coming up and about!

  • I have to laugh..how young to start a business !
    Mny in ASia are running businesses from child hood out of need.

    A more interesting question” How old could you be before starting a business ?”

    There are many expats who realise their “retirement”is the best time!
    I launched my first business at 66.after spending 40 years in education…it is a great time to start!
    We are launching a startup enabler in Mian Channu in October which will encourage oldies to use the intellectual property they have amassed in their careers to realise it as information products .
    Although i may “fall off my perch ” at 73 at least i can leave a legacy for others to follow
    The office will include resource for all to startup ..at any age..
    Perhaps it’s time to forget age and just ask What can you do ?”

    ian

  • Really, 55 years old people are starting their own business? That is risky to me. It is better for the 22 years old because they are young, usually have nothing to risk (their parents might back them), and can still make it up in life if they lose money.

  • to start a business can be done since a young age, you do not need to wait for parents to start your business, if you have the ability to start a business, why not? so start your business from now.

  • I like to read your article very readable, thanks for posting and keep it share :)

  • its good blog,!
    your article is veri amazing you now!

  • I just stumbled on your blog when I was looking on google. I have to say that the information here was the most complete that I found anywhere. I am definitely bookmarking this to come back and read later.

  • Old guys have money to do it. Where as young guys have ideas.

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